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Thread: Skin rash on my son

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    Skin rash on my son

    Ok, I didn't know where else to post this question but I figured only the really technical pool people would have heard about something like this.

    My son (2 years old) took his first real swim lesson at the local YMCA this past Saturday. He wore a rash guard. That evening he developed rash on his chest - we used a floaty thing that straps under his arms right where the rash was. So, I thought it was a physical thing from the rubbing, but when I went to put lotion on it he screamed bloody murder. There were no open wounds as far as I could see only these little pinpoint bumps. The bumps are more pronounced after his warm bath at night. When he wakes up in the morning it looks like the bumps are gone, but in the bath they reappear.

    Its been 3 days and I thought things were getting better, but tonight after bath it looked worse and again when I put lotion he screamed. Even calamine lotion hurt and I thought that stuff made everything feel better.

    I'm not sure what to do . . . quit swim lessons? He's never had a problem in our pool. I can't ask the YMCA to change the chem balance in their pool.

    So, I guess my question is . . . does anyone have a cure for this rash? does anyone know what this rash is caused by? how long it lasts? any clue?

    Thanks from a concerned mom,
    Cissy
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    1) Take him to the pediatrician.
    2) Tell the Y. If you have a test kit, test their water yourself.
    3) If they don't do something, call the board of health.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    What's a rash guard?

    Could he be allergic to the 'floaty thing'?
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Anna, that was my thought, latex or other allergen in the floaty, and continued use and the physical contact/rubbing is irritating it even more..

    Aloe is a great healer, no stinging... make sure it is 100% with no dye... 100% aloe gel is practically colorless. Or squish the gel out of a plant yourself.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Did you try an over the counter cortisone type cream?
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Ladies,

    This is not a most cost effective issue. This is a 2 year old with an Unknown and persistent rash after swimming in a public pool = Doctor. NOW.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Ladies,

    This is not a most cost effective issue. This is a 2 year old with an Unknown and persistent rash after swimming in a public pool = Doctor. NOW.

    Scott
    Yep, he needs to do to the doctor. Lets make sure this isn't bacterial before anything else. If it is a superficial dermal reaction to an allergen, then you can go with simple over the counter stuff like hydrocortisone. But if it is an infection, a topical corticosteroid like hydrocortisone can actually worsen things. Let the physician make the call.

    Also, because of the age of the child, use of medications, whether over the counter or otherwise, should be under the direction of a physician anyway. Cortaid and similar things are generally pretty safe for most people when used sparingly, but they can cause significant problems if you use too much or apply over a large area. Toddlers and children don't clear medications like adults do.
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Cissy,

    See if you can distinguish whether this rash is chemically induced or from a bacterial infection by looking at the table in
    this link.
    As noted by others, you should take your son to a doctor.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    First, please take him to the doctor as soon as possible. Aside from being obviously uncomfortable for him, it is possible that this is something serious, particularly since it as persistent as it is. I'm not a fan of running to the doctor for every little thing, but when something is unexplained and won't go away...

    The rash guards with which I'm familiar are simply shirts, pants, bodysuits, etc. made of nylon, lycra or some similar material. Is that what he was using? (The rest of this post assumes that this is the case.)

    You've most likely made certain that the guard itself is clean and that he's not allergic to some soap, chemical, other contaminant in the rash guard itself. Has he ever worn the rash guard in your pool? Has he used the same floatys and other equipment in your pool?

    As I'm sure you are aware, these kinds of rash guards are not designed to prevent reactions due to contact with water or chemicals in the water, but to prevent abrasions and allergic reactions due to physical contact with other things. Some small amount of chemicals that leeched out of the floaty or whatever else he was using could possibly pass through the guard along with the surrounding water, and potentially cause a reaction. If he's allergic to some chemical or chemical imbalance in the YMCA pool water, the rash guard will do nothing to prevent it because it doesn't prevent the water from reaching the skin.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    I asked the OP if they tried over the counter cortisone, if the answer was yes and no improvement then yes, take the child to the doctor.

    The OP said "lotion" if this is any typical body lotion which contains various products that will burn/sting and irritate broken skin, naturally the child will complain/cry/scream. Even calamine is not necessarily the correct choice in certain situations. From personal experience, cortisone works and is often what the doctor will prescribe (it was their suggestion that I try it to begin with years ago for my own children). From the description given, I suspected chemical irritation, not bacterial infection.

    After a recent trip to an indoor waterpark, my son was the only one out of 12 to develop a rash. He did not shower after, and he wore his swimsuit (after it dried) home and showered several hours later, and we noticed the rash after his shower that evening. I can only assume it was him keeping the suit on and not showering that caused the rash since everyone else showered before leaving the Wisconsin Dells. I treated it with the cortisone and it was gone within 3 days.

    My daughter has experienced eczema most of her life, and with both combined I have treated them for possibly hundreds of rashes. Cortisone has always worked for me, and if/when it didn't I'd call the doctor. But I'm one to try tried and true methods (that have worked for me in the past) before rushing them to the doctor where they would be exposed to unknown/harmful germs.

    If the rash had been on other areas of the body, and not just the under arm area exposed to the floaties, I'd be more inclined to suspect something in the pool water.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Poor baby. As a life long skin "delicate flower" I really feel for him.

    At the very least call the Pediatrician's office and talk to the doctor's nurse. She should then advise, after talking to doctor, whether to come in or try home treatment(s). Sometimes the doctor will call back to you when he/she grabs time for call back. Mine usually calls back after 6 p.m.

    Contact dermatitis can be caused by almost anything. It is not unusual for secondary infection to set in if the skin has not cleared up after a certain time. In these days of so many resistant bacteria any potential infection should be taken very seriously.

    BTW... my mom used to have me soak in a powdered oatmeal bath for my severe poison ivy breakouts. They were quite soothing. CHECK FIRST WITH DR'S OFFICE BEFORE DOING ANYTHING.

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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Sorry for the delayed follow up, but we did end up going to the pediatrician's last week and it turned out to be abrasion and dry skin. there was inflammation from the rubbing of the floation device. Dr. Told us to use OTC 1% hydrocortisone and make sure he stayed moisturized (which we normally do but we weren't b/c the lotion was burning). It was gone in 2 days after we started with the 1%.

    Thanks again everyone for all your concern and advice. I was so worried. Cissy
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    Thanks for posting back the result. When I saw the title I wondered what the outcome was.
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    Re: Skin rash on my son

    I'm glad that it turned out to be something minor and easily cleared up, even if it was rather uncomfortable for him. Hydrocortisone is some pretty useful stuff.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
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